The music on this delightful album is wonderfully peculiar totally eccentric beautifully harmonic and saturated with colorful idiosyncratic lyrical intentions. Aligning the expressive libretti around certain real but faceless inhabitants of Chicago, the songs visit such diverse subject matter as addiction, mental illness, religious unease, materialism and other current social issues. Now just like ‘Steely Dan’ who utilized the trick of coating their often subdued and gloomy lyrics within melodic jazz tinged infectious musical sequences, Tautologic have adopted a similar approach in creating some enchanting melodic tunes to convey the real life but dark subject matter over to the listener.
Behind the make-up of the band’s music and persona there is a definite multifaceted formula that supports and projects the resultant songs forward with both interest and incredulity. For example in one instance the vocal arrangements might be delivered with a mixture of impeccable two and three part harmonic exquisiteness and then the singing arrangements are seemingly transformed somehow to be replaced with segments of conflicting discordant note arrangements which outline and emphasize the anxiety behind the storylines. Parallel to these vocal manipulations the instrumental contributions of guitar, saxophone, violin and bass replicate these swings in mood to also reinforce the meaning behind the compositional intent. Finally the quite perceptive oddball lyrics which conjure up and sketch the pictures behind these real life unfortunates and which portray a myriad of detailed complications specific to each character.
In respect to musicality there are multitudes of excellent instrumental contributions where lead guitar, saxophone and keyboards fuse perfectly together with interesting percussion in both rock and cool jazz formats and then there are many instances where in addition to playing a lead role the deply resonant violin (or is it a cello?) is utilized to add drama and much atmosphere to the proceedings. I cannot stress sufficiently enough though that the overriding atmospheric feel of the music is created by the simply wonderful vocal harmonies which are infused into the complicated arrangements with much skill and panache.
Summary: A thoroughly absorbing, musically excellent and totally interesting collection of tunes reflecting on social problems around a specific selection of Chicago inhabitants.
Artwork: Basic but Meaningful
1. Loud Shoes.
2. Not If But When.
3. The Admiral.
4. The Professor.
5. On Your Left.
6. The Choirboy.
7. Coltrane Suprmarket.
8. The Whistler.
9. The Gospel Lady.
10. Osaka Garden
Tautological are a seven piece band based in Chicago and comprise:- Emily Albright (violin, vocals), Nathan Britsch (bass), Pat Buzby (drums), Chris Greene (sax), Jay Montana (guitar), Ethan Sellers (vocals, keys, guitar)
And From The Internet :Tautologic is an eclectic progressive rock band based in Chicago. The band was formed in 1997 as a vehicle for founding members Ethan Sellers' and Pat Buzby's eclectic musical compositions and off-beat lyrics. The group's richly orchestrated recordings have garnered the band praise for its inventive arrangements, performed by some of Chicago's best musicians. Tautologic has released two CDs to international critical acclaim and radio airplay, making at least one critic's year-end best-of list. The band has performed on the stage at various clubs, radio stations, and television shows in Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, and the Minneapolis-area.
Tautologic writes lyrics and constructs rock operas about things drawn from life like burnout roommates and their psychotic crack-whore girlfriends, tube socks, crazy homeless people, indie hipsters, quasi-terroristic rants against totalitarian utility companies, and anything else that entertains and/or irritates Sellers and Buzby in real life.